Town Women Top The Table Thanks To Dramatic Late Win
Huddersfield Town Women moved clear at the top of the FA WNL league table after a dramatic 3-2 win against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday afternoon.
The Stafflex Arena has seen more than its fair share of goals already this season and three more from Brittany Sanderson (2) and Laura Elford saw Town record their sixth consecutive victory.
As usual, the hosts started brightly and nearly opened the scoring when Katie Nutter was inches away from connecting with a header, but took the lead inside ten minutes.
Kate Mallin and Beth Stanfield – scorers of the goals in the last home game against Nottingham Forest – played a one-two before the ball fell to Sanderson who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from twenty-five yards.
Town were dominant up until the half hour mark when Mallin beat the offside trap and took the ball around the ‘keeper, but saw her eventual shot blocked on the line.
That seemed to wake West Brom up as the away side ended the half the stronger team and levelled the game from close range when a set piece wasn’t fully cleared.
Bethan Davies made a number of impressive saves in the Town goal before the equaliser and performed well in the second forty-five, too. Goalkeeper coach Luke Haigh was full of praise at full time.
“It was a crazy game, one that needed Bethan to have a good match, and she certainly did.
The team fight for each other until the end and that showed again today. The determination and togetherness is very important. I’ll celebrate tonight, it’s a great birthday present!”
A win looked against all the odds when the Baggies went ahead just within the first minute of the second half.
Straight from kick off, the away side attacked down their right flank before a deep cross was met and turned home at the far post.
Town, however, have made a habit of coming from behind this season and immediately hit the front foot. Sarah Danby and Mallin both saw crosses fly just beyond the back post as time ticked away, but the turnaround soon began.
After a chaotic goalmouth scramble ended in the second goal-line clearance of the match, belief may have wavered, but not for Town.
Elford’s runs into the channels caused havoc all afternoon and when she was played through on goal, it looked as though she was going to level it up. Instead of being selfish, however, the striker spotted Sanderson in a better, central position and laid the ball on a plate for the equaliser.
And, no sooner had that gone in, the Terriers were celebrating the winner. The introduction of Lucy Sowerby off the bench gave Elford a partner up front and it instantly paid dividends.
Another flighted ball over the top set Elford away again and this time, instead of playing a pass, Town’s no.10 fired the ball into the bottom corner to send her team top of the table.
The drama wasn’t over yet, though, as Elford then hit a penalty over the bar after Danby was tripped in the area before the visitors almost snatched a point.
A short back pass allowed them one last chance but, luckily for Town, the ball came crashing back off the crossbar and the Terriers held on for arguably the biggest win of the season so far.
Manager Jordan Wimpenny was over the moon to see his side make it six wins in a row.
“It’s not easy to come from behind to win a game of football, but we’ve done it again today. We knew it would be hard and we kept going until the very end.
We have a lot of younger players, but have some more experienced ones too and they’ve been playing together for a long time now, so they have even more reason to fight for each other.
It’s nice to be up there at the top of the table, but we know that there’s still an awfully long way to go. If we do have a little break [due to lockdown], then we will make sure that we’re fit physically and mentally for when we next step foot onto the pitch.”
Preview by: Jack Walker